Twitch is a live streaming platform for all kinds of content, but it’s famous for its large and vibrant gaming community. Professionals, influencers, and enthusiasts meet there and share information about their favourite games. When it was created back in 2011, there was content about music, cooking, and even traffic conditions.
Although it’s still possible to find this kind of content there, the platform has become popular among gamers and gamblers. Many professionals and influencers of the online casino world have also taken on Twitch to broadcast their content. These also include live streaming of games of luck. However, the platform is now clamping down on unlicensed gambling live streaming.
Taking a Stance
Twitch, owned by Amazon, has announced the new policies towards gambling on Twitter. The platform will ban the live streaming of games played on unlicensed platforms. By “unlicensed gambling”, Twitch means gambling sites that aren’t registered in “jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protection”. These sites typically offer casino games like roulette, craps, and slots. Don’t worry, though; your favourite NetBet slots are still available.
The new policies will take effect on October 18 and result from a lot of pressure from the gaming community. Live streaming of gambling games has always been polemical on the platform. For part of this community, broadcasting such content could be harmful, especially to younger users. Twitch is very specific about the content it’s banning, though.
Twitch will check licences for the gambling sites that are live streamed on its platform and shut down only the unlicensed ones. It means that there’ll still be online gambling content there. In the same tweet, Twitch says it won’t ban sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker. Yet the company states its commitment to “limit the spread of gambling content”.
Twitch remarked that the existing community guidelines already prohibited sharing links and codes that lead to specific sites. Yet, some users manage to bypass this restriction and offer potentially harmful content to other users.
For this reason, several top streamers threatened to leave the platform if nothing was done. Additionally, famous names like Imane Anys considered a boycott during the Christmas holiday, hitting hard on ad sales. So, the ban was a welcomed step for a considerable part of the community, although some kinds of gambling content will still be available.
The Turning Point
Twitch has never taken harsh stances against gambling content, despite criticism. A recent scandal involving top streamers seems to have been the last straw. The protagonist of the scandal is the UK-based streamer and influencer ItsSliker. He lured his fellow streamers into lending him large sums of money while he claimed that his bank account was frozen. Many streamers came into his help, only to never see their money again.
ItsSliker posted a video where he admits he has a gambling addiction. Also, he admits that he borrowed that money for gambling and lost it all. One of the most popular streamers on the platform, xQc, claimed that he would help to cover the losses, which are about USD 300,000. This case is a stark reminder of the dangers of careless gambling.